Hardwood Publishing has released its updated Leading Hardwood Demand Indicator (LHDI), a forecast of future demand for U.S. hardwood lumber based on residential and commercial construction, import/export trends, inflation levels, and job markets.

The LHDI rises slightly from 126.9 in July to 130.1 in August (January 2013=100) on improved housing and non-residential construction activity, as well as a post-holiday bump in European purchasing.  Weakness in the jobs market and rising secondary wood product imports then drop the index back to 121.8 in September.

Hardwood Publishing’s forward-looking price indices for key hardwood species reflect expectations of lower Red Oak, White Oak, Hard Maple and Soft Maple prices over the next 30 days. Kiln-dried FAS/1F Poplar prices are forecasted to firm slightly.  Prices for almost every hardwood species are firmer in FAS/1F than in the #1, #2 and #3 Common grades.  As such, distribution yards and smaller manufacturers that focus on FAS/1F lumber are likely to see firmer purchase prices than large secondary manufacturers that purchase mostly common-grade lumber.

Hardwood Publishing Co.

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